Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that comes from car accidents. According to the BBC, the UK is known as the ”whiplash capital of Europe”. Apparently, for every traffic accident that is reported in the UK, there are around 2.7 claims made to insurers. This means that there are around 8 in 10 personal injury claims made for traffic accidents compensation in relation to your injuries. If you wore a seat belt, and were struck in a collision, it is very likely that the impact caused injuries to your back, neck and spine. Whiplash claims may sound simple, but with the amount of fraudulent claims made about this type of injury, you may feel a little nervous about making a claim of your own.
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we are here to support you with any sort of road traffic accident (RTA) claim. That’s why this blog is going to discuss whiplash compensation claims in detail, as well as what to do if you have recently been involved in a traffic accident.
What is Whiplash?
If you have suffered from whiplash, most people will assume that you have merely suffered from a minor injury. However, this type of RTA injury can have lasting effects that could make you feel uncomfortable throughout your life.
Whiplash is caused when your vehicle experiences a sudden jolt or movement (aka. a collision with another car. This causes the ligaments in your neck to suddenly stretch, damaging them in the process. This sort of injury does not have to occur due to a high-speed collision. Instead, it can be low speed and doesn’t need to actually take much force to occur. Normally, the average speed for whiplash to occur is between 5-10 mph. So, as you can see, it does not take a lot for any sort of driver or passenger to suffer from whiplash injuries.
Whiplash: The Detailed Description
Should you have gone to hospital to deal with an injury, you may be experiencing severe pain in your neck and upper spine. During your accident, the impact of the other vehicle hitting your own will cause your body to jolt forward. This sudden movement causes a sprain around your spine that can quickly become inflamed. Your symptoms may include:
- Limited mobility
- Jolts of pain
- Overly stretched moments
- Lack of flexibility
- Muscle damage
Whiplash can also occur outside of a car accident. Keep in mind that it could happen to anyone who suffers from slipping over something. For instance, if you suffered from an accident at work, you may have slipped on an unmarked puddle, your fall could have damaged your spine and caused you whiplash. Keep this in mind when you make your compensation claim.
What vehicles do whiplash accidents usually happen in?
Honestly, a whiplash accident can happen to any sort of driver or passenger. Think about it this way, usually the type of injuries you sustain in a vehicle depend on the size of the vehicle, the amount of protection it has and the severity of the impact. Therefore, if you had a motorcycle accident or an accident on public transport, you could have been thrown to the ground or perhaps hit a different hazard when you fell. This combined with the jolt and the lack of safety restraints (aka. seat belts) may have made your injuries worse.
So, make sure to speak to a solicitor about the vehicle that you were in during the accident. It could make a different to the type of RTA accident compensation claim you are proceeding with to court.
What will affect a whiplash injury accident claim?
One of the main things you need to know about compensation claims is that they are all unique. This is because there are so many different circumstances that can affect the accident. What you need to prove is that you were not at fault for your accident, i.e. that you are not liable for the other person’s injuries. This is what will determine whether or not you are due compensation. However, the amount of money you receive will also depend on:
- Whether or not the other person involved in the accident accepts blame
- How severe your injuries are
Medical evidence will be needed to prove how bad your injuries are, that means that it is more likely that your case will be drawn out in order for your doctor to accurately present your physical losses. You may want to wait around 1-2 months to see the extent of your injuries. That way you can know exactly what you want to claim for.
What is the claims process like for a Whiplash injury?
Normally, when it comes to a whiplash claim, there are four stages to make sure that your claim goes through without being invalidated. Working with a Gowing Law Solicitor can help you avoid any potential pitfalls and prove why you deserve compensation to help you recover from your injuries. Here are the basics of what you should expect if you want to go through with a road traffic accident compensation claim:
One of the most important things that you can do for any claims solicitor is to provide them with evidence. Whilst it does not matter whether or not anyone witnessed your traffic accident, if you do have evidence then this could show that you abided by the rules of the road. Instead you were forced to make emergency car manoeuvres to protect the people around you. That’s why evidence is crucial when it comes to proving that you were not at fault for your accident.
What sort of evidence do I need to prove I was not responsible for more injuries?
As you can see from Cathy’s case study, she suffered whiplash at the hands of a negligent driver. All drivers have a duty of care towards other road users. If they put them in danger then they have responsibility to help with their recovery through compensation.
If you want to prove that it was not your fault then you are going to need evidence. Once you have taken down the other driver’s insurance details, make sure to call the police to make sure that a police report is made. These police reports will detail the environment of the accident and take down both participant’s statements. This should show an unbiased perspective on the accident itself.
Additional evidence that can help your case may include:
- CCTV/Dash Cam/Video Footage
- Witness Statements
- Medical Reports
- Diary Entries (Made on the same day)
- Letters of Grievance
- Reports made from witnesses about your future losses
What sort of losses can I claim for with a case of whiplash?
Before you think about your compensation claim as a whole, you need to consider what sort of losses have happened due to your accident. This can be more than just physical injury. Instead, you need to think of how the accident has impeded your daily life. How has it been negatively affected? That way, your solicitor can estimate what could help you return to your previous situation before you were hurt.
Losses may include:
- Financial losses (aka. medical bills or lost wages)
- Physical losses (aka. disabilities or injuries)
- Emotional losses (aka. PTSD)
- Vehicle losses (aka. a car that has been written off)
Your compensation costs will also cover any rehabilitation or therapies that you need to heal. Note down all of the potential losses you have made and the evidence to back them up. This will strengthen your case and show that you need financial assistance (aka. RTA compensation) to get back on your feet.
How long do I have to claim compensation for my whiplash?
Usually, we would recommend that you wait at least 2 weeks before you make your claim. However, you should claim RTA compensation within three years of the road traffic accident. The faster you make your compensation claim, the more likely that your solicitor can help you gather evidence to support you. Make sure not to rush your legal counsel. Whilst you may want to receive compensation as quickly as possible, if your compensation claim is complicated, it may need careful thought and a strategy put in to place to help you with your case.
How much compensation could I claim from a whiplash injury?
Now, this is where you have to be careful. Whiplash tends to be one of the most common accident claims there are when it comes to traffic injuries. That’s why in 2017, there was a crackdown in the UK about fraudulent whiplash injury claims. If your claim is genuine that means that you have every right to make a compensation claim. However, you do need the proof to show that you are telling the truth.
With that said, each RTA claims case is different. That means that the amount of compensation you receive will also depend on the extent of your injuries. If you can prove that you have been severely injured and that you do require compensation to help you with your recovery, you may get a bigger claim. If you have also experienced other injuries that could have caused you losses combined with whiplash, then again, you could be due a large amount of compensation.
Speak to your solicitor for more of an accurate estimate about your claim. Once they have your evidence and know all of the information of your case, they would be happy to give you a rough pay-out amount.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your whiplash injury
Whether you want legal counsel or advice on rehabilitation centres, Gowing Law Solicitors is here to help you with your RTA compensation case. Whiplash injuries can have severe consequences on the human body. Some people can get away with having minor pain, others find it extremely difficult to move around. That’s why our experienced team is here to help you get the pay out that you deserve.
We can offer you free advice and consultation services. If you are worried about Covid-19, these can all be conducted remotely or through communication devices. If you do decide to work with our experienced solicitors in Manchester, we can offer our services on a ”no win, no fee basis”. That way there is no risk to losing money with your claim. Instead, you will always come out on top and get the result that you want. Any fees required by your solicitor will always be upfront.
Are you ready to get your compensation? Contact Gowing Law Solicitors now by calling 08000418350, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our direct messaging feature on our contact page. A member of our team will be in contact with you as quickly as possible to answer any additional questions you may have about your RTA claim.
Please get in contact with our teams as quickly as possible. Due to Covid-19, the courts may have a back up of cases that they will need to sort. That means that your case may take longer than you initially expected. The faster you let us know how we can help you, the better!
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We wish you a fast recovery with your whiplash injury and look forward to seeing you in our next blog.